The latest addition to the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit is sniffing for something other than explosives. Evan, a two year old labrador retriever is in search of drugs, and has been busy since he joined the team. “We welcome this highly trained K-9 to the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden. “This drug sniffing dog is a great asset to Monmouth County and municipal police agencies when it comes to combating the proliferation of narcotics within the County.”
Evan was adopted from the Seeing Eye, Inc. of Morristown for a nominal fee. Sheriff’s Officer Kurt Kroeper, along with his partner, Evan, completed 11 weeks of training at the Holmdel Township Police K-9 Training Academy. Evan has been a member of the unit since January and will attend graduation ceremonies in May. “Evan’s primary role is to assist in narcotics investigations,” said Sheriff’s Officer Kurt Kroeper. “We have already been out on 24 narcotics calls, a large percent of those calls yielded significant results.”
Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office K-9 units undergo rigorous ongoing training programs to maintain proficiency in basic skills and ensure continued effective performance in the field. Each K-9 team must complete a state-mandated 10-week training course at a certified K-9 training facility. After completion of this initial training, Sheriff’s K-9 teams must maintain at least eight hours of in-service training each month. There are no specific federal funds from the Department of Homeland Security earmarked for K-9s that specialize in narcotics, as there are for K-9s that specialize in explosives. “While the Sheriff’s Office is faced with budget constraints, we realize it’s a priority to set aside funds during these tough economic times in an effort to have this highly trained narcotics K-9 provide vital services to Monmouth County and municipalities,” said Sheriff Golden.
The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit presently consists of six Sheriff’s Officers/K-9 handlers and seven dogs; five explosive detection dogs (K-9 Rocky-German Shepherd, K-9 Cida-German Shepherd, K-9 Jake-Golden Retriever, K-9 Lexus-Chesapeake Bay Retriever& K-9 Falko-German Shepherd), one narcotics dog (K-9 Evan-Labrador Retriever) and one tracking dog (K-9 Savannah-Bloodhound). The Sheriff’s Office units are called upon year-round to assist local police departments with explosive detection, narcotic detection and criminal or missing person searches.